Don’t shut out the private sector on NHI, Treasury officials warn

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Don’t shut out the private sector on NHI, Treasury officials warn

Development of policy has been done in isolation from private providers, creating mistrust, they say

Tamar Kahn

An analysis of the state’s progress towards universal health coverage, co-authored by several senior Treasury officials, has called on the government to work more closely with private healthcare providers in rolling out its proposed National Health Insurance (NHI).

NHI is the biggest reform of the health system proposed by the government since the end of apartheid. It is aimed at eliminating deep inequalities between public and private health systems by providing care for all eligible patients free at the point of delivery. NHI has been high on the political agenda since 2007, but progress in implementing the policy has been slower than expected. The government has done little to draw in private sector providers. Parliament is processing its first bill.

The review is contained in the latest edition of the yearly SA Health Review (SAHR) to be published by the nonprofit Health Systems Trust on Monday...

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